Denmark Leading the District Heating Way, We Should Follow Suit
Denmark is leading the way with a unique yet efficient method of producing and supplying energy to both residential and commercial premises. The system works by utilising heat energy created by a central source, which is then distributed to a local network of customers.
The main benefit seen in Denmark is the minimisation of waste. Typically, the heat energy is obtained as an excess of the power produced and would otherwise be wasted.
The easiest way to describe a heating network is to think of a light bulb. When it is turned on, it will heat up to the point where you are unable to handle it. This heat is a by-product of the power supplied to it and it is wasted. On a larger scale, the heat energy emitted will be fairly significant.
Many modern-day energy sources such as biomass and solar can be used as part of a heating network. The by-product from both of these energy sources is excess heat, either from the burning of materials or the natural energy from the sun. This heat energy can be used to provide savings of up to 30%.
How Does it Work?
District heating can be utilised for both domestic and commercial use, either to heat water or as a central heating source.
Water can be heated by linking the water supply with the heating network with a heat exchanger. By heating water just a few degrees, a home or business can achieve significant savings. The same heated water can also be used for underfloor heating, offering an alternative heating source for the home. In addition to heating water, energy can be rerouted to a heat exchange to heat rooms.
To achieve higher temperatures for industrial use some district heating systems convert their excess power into steam. While this is not as efficient as water, it is necessary for larger operations.
Why is it Environmentally Friendly?
District heating systems are designed to be as efficient as possible and there is minimal waste. The system works by taking advantage of the by-products of energy production, utilising the excess to heat water which can be distributed to the network.
Standard energy sources simply produce power without taking into account the waste it creates. It is this waste which is used in Denmark, providing energy-efficient processes for homes and businesses.
Lower energy prices can also be secured for consumers and businesses, because providers are producing the same amount of energy using fewer resources, with savings passed down the line.
The environment also benefits from this scheme due to the efficiencies as standard energy production can raise temperatures, which could affect local wildlife. A power producer near open water could have a negative impact by raising the water temperature, which can damage plants and animals.
What Are the Benefits to the UK?
With energy prices continuing to increase in the UK, there must be greater efficiencies in the way it is produced in order to reduce bills. Consumers and businesses are struggling financially because of their energy costs and more efficient methods of producing power will help to get these under control.
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